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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Three stories

It was a hot summer day. Sandy was sitting on the front porch. She saw Mrs. Ramirez carrying her groceries home.

"Hello, Mrs. Ramirez," said Sandy. "I will help you carry your bags home."

"Thank you," said Mrs. Ramirez. "Death is a harsh mistress."


Mark and Grace went shopping for a gift for their Uncle Steven's birthday.

"Here is a bookstore," said Grace. "Uncle Steven likes sports. I want to buy him a book about sports. What will you get Uncle Steven, Mark?"

"What will you get Uncle Steven, Mark?" Mark said.

"I do not like having a brother whose head is an African Grey Parrot," said Grace.


Dad comes home from work. He says, "Look, I have a new watch."

Paul and James put down their books and go to Dad. "Show us," Paul says.

Dad shows the boys his new watch.

"What time is it?" James asks.

"It is 7:30," Paul says.

"Oh, good," James says. "It is time to eat dinner."

"It is not 7:30," Mom says. "It is 8:30."

"My watch says it is 7:30," Dad says.

"Did you forget daylight savings?" Mom asks.

"I guess I did," Dad says.

"Wait," says James, "we live in Arizona, and as a result we do not participate in daylight savings."

"You are right, James," says Dad. "It is dinner time."

"Hooray! Two dinners!" Paul and James say.
Pandora Internet Radio is a cool resource for people who are interested in learning about new music. The basic idea is that you enter a song or artist that you already like, and the Pandora databases analyze various qualities of the song or artist and suggest other songs similar to it through streaming radio. You can also give the thumbs up or thumbs down to a certain song, and Pandora will stop playing songs like it.

Good for listening to at home while you're sweeping your damned floor for the thousandth time, or while at work when you forgot your iPod again.
An unfortunate name to have: Anurag Dikshit

The person who has it: the guy who founded Party Poker
A good way to trick people into thinking that you're smarter than you are is to, when in conversation, correct the person you're speaking with by repeating the last phrase they said in a slightly altered form.

For example, if someone says something like, "DNA is a long polymer of nucleotides that encodes the sequence of amino acid residues in proteins, using the genetic code."

You could say, "Actually, it's more like the nucleotides encode the sequence of amino acid residues in proteins, using the genetic code."

You should always talk very loudly when attempting this, so as to trick as many people as possible. This should result in conversations among other people like:

"Man, that guy sure does talk loud."

"Hell, I'd talk that loud too if I were as smart as him."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vice President Cheney was interviewed Tuesday by a conservative radio talk show host in Fargo, N.D. “Would you agree that a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?” the interviewer asked.

“Well, it’s a no-brainer for me,” Mr. Cheney replied. “But for a while there I was criticized as being the vice president for torture. We don’t torture. That’s not what we’re involved in.”

White House press secretary Tony Snow was stuck answering the press's questions.

The New York Times reported that
The exchanges grew testy at times, especially when Mr. Snow said Mr. Cheney is not someone who slips up. One reporter noted that the vice president had once used a profanity on the Senate floor, and also shot a friend in the face during a hunting accident last February.

“That’s a great line,” Mr. Snow said, “but it’s not germane.”

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

David Foster Wallace on tennis: ". . . TV tennis is to live tennis pretty much as video porn is to the felt reality of human love."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

From Jason Reitman's Thank You for Smoking: "That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong. "
Julia Stiles: a poor man's Kirsten Dunst?
Christopher Hitchens once claimed that "the four most overrated things in life were champagne, lobsters, anal sex, and picinics." (New Yorker, October 16, 2006, 161)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

CNN reports that Chris Rock's mom is suing Cracker Barrel for being racist.

"Rose Rock, the mother of comedian Chris Rock, claims she was racially discriminated against when she was seated but ignored for a half hour at a Cracker Barrel restaurant along the South Carolina coast."

The manager offered her a free meal, but she said that by that point, she didn't want it anymore. She found that she was only hungry for justice.

The lawsuit is all well and good for her, but what am I to do when I get bad service? My friends and I waited for like two hours for our food at the Oasis a couple of weeks ago, and it seems like the only excuse, since we're all white, is that the restaurant just sucks. Could be something you examine in this case also, Rose Rock's lawyers.

P.S. If anyone is interested, I will three-bet Cracker Barrel this weekend. Just talking about it makes me hungry for fried apples and chicken-fried steak.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Welcome to the world, Aubrey Ann K.!

Congratulations, Johnny and Nikki!

Monday, October 16, 2006

But when I say I believe in complete disclosure I don't mean it cheaply, as anecdotal sport or shallow revelation. It is a form of self-renewal and a gesture of custodial trust. Love helps us develop an identity secure enough to allow itself to be placed in another's care and protection. Babette and I have turned our lives for each other's thoughtful regard, turned them in the moonlight in our pale hands, spoken deep into the night about fathers and mothers, childhood, friendships, awakenings, old loves, old fears (except fear of death). No detail must be left out, not even a dog with ticks or a neighbor's boy who ate an insect on a dare. The smell of pantries, the sense of empty afternoons, the feel of things as they rained across our skin, things as facts and passions, the feel of pain, loss, disappointment, breathless delight. In these night recitations we create a space between things as we felt them at the time and as we speak them now. This is the space reserved for irony, sympathy and fond amusement, the means by which we rescue ourselves from the past.
(Don DeLillo, White Noise, 1985, 29-30)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Last weekend I was eating dinner with TM at an Australian-themed steakhouse. There was a table of about eight people directly in my line of vision, who were chatting and having a good time, all decked out in burnt orange, obviously pleased that the Longhorns had just beat our biggest rivals, Oklahoma.

When one heavyset character in a UT shirt adjusted his position in his chair, his shirt rode up, and I noticed something: He was wearing a thong. A red silky thong. I'm not sure what they call it when the skin under the waistband but above the jeans is exposed, but that's what he had going on. I was surprised, and pointed it out to TM, who burst out laughing. So many questions came up:

- Why the thong? Why red and silky?
- Was that his thong, or his girlfriend's? (A woman who appeared to be his girlfriend was sitting next to him.)
- If it's his, does she know he's wearing it?
- Is she wearing his underwear?
- Is his underwear preference public knowledge, or is it something he does secretly?
- Is everyone else at the table wearing a thong?
- Are they in a club of some kind?

The secret lives of burly sports fans knows no boundaries.
A very long and very fulfilling interview with Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics: here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sometimes when people say "This sucks," they really mean "You suck."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Texas Comptroller's Office has a website on which you can search Texas state records to see if you are owed any money or property. It's here.

I would normally never post this kind of thing, but it turns out that I had over $200 owed to me by the state for some reason. Strip club, here I come!

P.S. This is in no way an endorsement for our comptroller, Carole "Grandma" Keeton Strayhorn, who is running for governor of Texas--unless she shows support for my $900b homeland security measure to build half-man, half-robot, super-border-patrol agents who are trained to shoot anything that moves.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Good as Gould

Joey bought me Glenn Gould’s complete Goldberg Variations for my birthday. The set includes Gould’s two performances of the concert, the first in 1953, the second in 1981.

Not long ago, Lan gave me an extra copy of the first concert. Since I now had an extra one, I gave it to Joey.

“Just listen to this,” I told him. “It’s badass.”

I guess he did, because I got the following text message yesterday:

“That Gould is tight. Amadeus and Ludwig need to throw our boy Gould some jams to pound on his keyboard, nigga!”

Which is a totally appropriate response, as far as I'm concerned.
Happy birthday to Joan Cusack, who I am not related to!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Shower warning

"I'm going on a date tonight," I told MS a few days ago.

"What are you going to do?" she asked.

"We're going to cook dinner together and watch a movie."

"Did you clean your apartment?"


"Did you clean the shower?"

"Yeah, but not like a full scrub down. Just sprayed some stuff and wiped it down a little."

"You better make sure that shower is clean. If a girl comes over to a guy's place, she's going to have to go to the bathroom at some point. And if she goes to the bathroom, she's going to look in the shower."

"Why would she look in the shower?"

"They all look in the shower. I promise you."

I scrubbed down the shower a little better, but I didn't do the hands-and-knees-type scrubbing that would have really impressed a date. It was adequate, I thought.

When the date came over we cooked a nice dinner, and afterward, she excused herself to go to the bathroom. When she got back, I could help but asking her if she looked in the shower.

"No," she said. "Why would I do that?"

I told her how MS had said that they all looked in the shower, and I told her how I had to go back and clean it a little better just in case.

The date started laughing.


"Yeah, I looked in it."


"It's true. I did. We all look in it."